How harmful is happiness? Consequences of enjoying life or not

R Veenhoven

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechBookAcademic


This book is about the consequences of happiness. Research has hitherto concentrated on determinants of happiness exclusively. Speculative theories on effects of happiness are contradictory. Some claim that happiness turns people into 'contented cows' and imply that a certain degree of unhappiness is actually better for man and society. Other assert that it precisely leads to zest and makes people and society flourish. This book presents first attempts to identify consequences of happiness empirically. It considers the effects on: outlook, work performance, resistance to stress, health and social functioning. None of the predicted adverse effects are found, but several positive effects are demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
Number of pages137
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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